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Flood Victims Want Probe Of N500m Fund

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Victims of the 2012 flood disaster in Demsa Local Government Area of Adamawa on Tuesday called on the Federal Government to investigate the disbursement of the N500 million flood relief assistance given to the state.

A cross-section of the victims, who spoke with newsmen in the area, said that many of them had yet to receive any form of monetary assistance from the authorities while a few of them received between N200 and N240.

The victims said in Gindin-Kuka ward, one of the areas worst hit by the disaster, that the investigation was necessary in order to ensure accountability, justice and fairness in the management of the Federal Government intervention fund.

Mr Moses Ginam, one of the victims, said he only learnt about the N500 million in the media.

Gidam said he was told that N90, 000 was allocated to the flood victims in his area and that each victim was to receive N250.

“To be candid, I only heard that the Federal Government has released N500 million to Adamawa State Government on the pages of newspapers. We were told that we were given N93,000 and when you divide the money each household will get N240.

“The Federal Government should investigate this matter because the genuine victims were not the actual people benefiting from the Federal Government intervention.”

Another victim, Mr Francis Emmanuel, who also called for a probe, said that the affected people of his community in Mbula chiefdom had rejected the N1.5 million given to them because the amount could not go round.

“I went down to the village and I was told that they only sent about N1.8 million to the entire Mbula chiefdom and the people rejected it because if you are going to share this money to the people, each person will get just two hundred and something naira.

“Imagine somebody that lost his house, farm and you are giving the person just N200 to help himself or herself.

‘’The affected people decided to reject the assistance because they could not imagine what the N200 would do for them.’’

Mallam Abdullahi Gindin-Kuka, another victim, said he was asked to go and collect N240 from the ward head as assistance but he rejected the offer.

Commenting on how the N500 million was disbursed, the Secretary to Adamawa Government, Mr Kobis Thimnu, said the state government used the funds to purchase 60 trucks of fertiliser and improved seeds for distribution to farmers in the state.

Thimnu, who is also the chairman of Quick Response Committee in the state, said that the state government had decided to procure fertilisers and seeds with the money because most of the affected flood victims were farmers.

“You are aware that the state is an agrarian state and that is why we decided to give priority to food security by providing fertiliser and seedlings to farmers. ’’

He also said that cash was given to affected local governments based on the level of destruction, adding that Lamurde Local Government, being the area worst hit by the disaster, was given N29 million.

Thimnu said that the state government had set up committees in each of the affected local government areas to handle the disbursement of the N500 million Federal Government’s intervention fund.

The committees, he said, were chaired by commissioners from the affected local government areas.

It will be recalled that many lives were lost while property worth over N20 billion was reportedly destroyed during the 2012 flood disaster in the state.

The disaster has been described by experts as the worst in 40 years.

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Environment

CSOs Partner Govt On Climate Change

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Some civil society organisations have expressed their willingness to partner with the government to address climate change and other environmental challenges in the new year.
Some of the organisations include, the Nigeria Civil Society Framework on Paris Agreement at the SDG’s (NCSfPAS) GIFSED, Climate and Sustainable network as well as Women Environmental Programme (WEP) Gender and Environmental Initiatives (GERI).
The Tide source in Abuja reported the Executive Director of Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem preservation, Mr. David Terugwa as saying that they were ready to partner government with view to addressing climate change and other environmental challenges.
For us, we are looking at those areas where we can come in and assist and to be partners with the government.
Project Lead, CSDeu Net, Mr. Pius Oko, said that the group will support the government and other stakeholders in the implementation of the law.
“We are here today to make a step forward. We want to first highlight the issues that concern the impact in climate change and have a tangible solution to such problems.
Executive-Director, WEP,Mrs Anne-Marie Abaogu said CSOs were set to develop a partnership that would implement framework to reverse the ugly trend of climate change in the country.

By: Oribim Ibama

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Environment

Monarch Advises Community On Sanitation

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The Onuayekein /Amanyanabo of Obonoma Community, King Enenibofori Dateme Obonogina, has charged the community to take the issue of sanitation seriously. Speaking at an interative session recently in the community, the Obonogina said all grasses and bushes must be cleared to expose the face of the community.
He said the situation will improve the hygienic and aesthetic conditions of the community. King Dateme said the community will expand the road recently commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to enable it include more of its hinterland communities.
He said the expansion of the road will boost farming and fishing activities in the areas as well as enable more farmers and fishermen to evacuate their produce to the markets thereby boosting the economy of the area.
He said the community will liaise with Ministries, Departments and Agencies with a view to developing the areas. King Dateme also stressed the need for unity and love among the people. According to him, when there is love, there will be peace and development of the community.
Also speaking, Professor Anyamebo Okorosoye Orubite, urged the people to cultivate the spirit of self help instead of relying solely on government for the development of their communities.
He also said that arrangements were on to build a Kalabari University at Semoo.

By: Oribim Ibama

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Environment

NOA Charges Nigerians On Illegal Oil Bunkering

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National Orientation Agency (NOA) has called on Nigerians to regard any money generated from illegal oil bunkering business also known as “Kpofire” business as blood money.
Rivers State Director of the Agency, Barrister Young Ayotamuno, made the call in an exclusive interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt.
Ayotamuno also said kpofire business also negated the right to life of Nigerians.
According to him, citizen’s constitutional rights to life are being breached by the proliferation of illegal refinaries in the region.
Ayotamuno, who said deaths related to respiratory tract infection is likely to increase in the next few years in the region also described as baseless, arguments that poverty and unemployment are responsible for the rising cases of illegal oil bunkering activities in the Niger Delta.
“You cannot use poverty to justify the breaking of pipelines, which is a critical national asset”, stressing that the National Orientation Agency (NOA) will continue to sensitise members of the public on the need to protect the nation’s asset.
The NOA director also commended the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, for directing local government chairmen in the state to monitor their areas and ensure the stoppage of illegal oil bunkering activities in their domains.
“NOA is thanking Governor Wike for asking local government chairmen to monitor their areas.
“NOA will continue to sensitise members of the public that you cannot use poverty to justify the breaking of pipelines which is a national assets”.
“The consequence of illegal refinery is that it negates the right to life of the citizen.
“Peoples Constitutional Right to Life is being negated. Peoples environment is being destroyed”, he said.
He said stopping the nefarious activities require a lot of political will add “we must work with state government and federal government to curb it. “Kpofire money is blood money” he declared.
Ayotamuno said the society cannot be battling kpofire and Covid-19 at the same time as reports had it that both incidences are responsible for series of respiratory infections.
He also called on the government to revisit the issues of modular refineries as well as the stoppage of gas flaring in the country.
The NOA Director also called for a half to the practice of burning of tyres and that of bush burning, while destruction of illegal petroleum vessels by military should be stopped.

By: John Bibor

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